Personalities | Barthold Feind | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera

1678–1721, German

In 1705, Barthold Feind – whose real name was Aristobulos Eutropius or Aristobulos Wahrmund – was practising law in his home city, Hamburg, when he wrote his first libretto for Reinhard Keiser (1674–1739), Octavia. Keiser needed a replacement at this time, after the death of Christian Heinrich Postel, who had been his librettist for nine years. Feind, however, was more than a substitute. He had his own strengths as a librettist. His forté was his handling of the comic elements in his libretti and his deft way with satire and parody. In 1706, Feind produced two more libretti for Keiser and another text in 1708 for Christophe Graupner. The mixture of German and Italian elements found in Feind’s libretti had been typical of Postel’s work and, together with French influences, also marked the music of Keiser.

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